I had a scare when using oxygen last week.
It’s not unusual to have my oxygen levels off target from kinks in my cords. And I’ve accidentally set the liters-per-minute dial too low. But last week was different.
I was getting ready to go to a massage appointment. I do this once a month, as it helps ease my aches and pains so much. My husband was filling my liquid oxygen portables to bring with me, and for a reason we couldn’t figure out, none of them dispensed the oxygen. The three portable strollers were full, but no oxygen was coming out of any of them!
We guess the oxygen was too cold to dispense since the tanks were freshly filled by my home healthcare provider. Whatever the reason, it was scary and disappointing. I had my appointment, but I couldn’t even leave my house.
It was the first time that happened.
I couldn’t leave the house because I didn’t have oxygen. I cried a lot and canceled my appointment. I hated to do it, but I had no choice. The reality is that I stay home most of the time, but it’s my choice to do so. This time, it wasn’t. It felt so awful. I was very upset.
My husband hugged me, and I went and laid down and had a good cry. This released my emotions and helped clear them out. In the evening, we talked more about it and did some problem-solving.
The portables did start releasing oxygen after about 20 minutes and haven’t given me a problem since. We decided to always load up the portables I might need an hour before I need them, rather than wait until the last minute. Then if this happens again, the tanks will have time to reset themselves.
It was so hard to have no choice.
When it came down to it, the hardest thing was having no choice to go out. No one has to worry about that as we do. Healthy people don’t have to lug around tanks or be worried they’ll run out of oxygen and go into a crisis. I never used to worry about any of that, but now it is a concern that fills every day in some way.
I, like you, have lost so much because of pulmonary fibrosis. I tend to grieve the losses and enjoy all the good that is still available to me. When one of those is threatened, or taken away, it hits me hard.
How about you?
I know there is no way that I’m the first to have something like this happen. It was just the first time it happened to me. When have you experienced something similar? How did you handle it?
Please leave a comment below, and share with those who could benefit via email or on social media. We’re in this together!
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.